How AP Helped Swiss Student Get into Oxford
When Sonia Curtis, a former student at the Ecole d'Humanite in Hasliberg, Switzerland, was deciding which curriculum to follow in high school, she chose the Advanced Placement Program (AP).
"My school didn't have grades, and I saw AP as my chance to show universities my academic strengths," said Sonia.
Ecole d'Humanite is a progressive, international boarding school situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps and offers its 150 students from various countries the opportunity to select one of the school's two academic programs- AP or the Swiss system . The AP Program leads to a high school diploma and includes preparation for the College Board SAT exams. Students can choose from a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and students can also work towards the Advanced Placement International Diploma (API D), which can qualify them for admission to universities in Europe and around the world.
"I liked that AP was flexible and the curriculum was more in-depth," said Sonia . "With the Swiss system, there were 13 mandatory courses."
At the Ecole, Sonia took a total of eight AP courses, which included AP German Language and Culture, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Psychology, World History, European History, U.S. Government and Politics and Comparative Government and Politics.
Although Sonia grew up in Switzerland, she aspired to pursue higher education in the UK and is currently a student at the University of Oxford. While the university lists various entrance requirements, AP is among the academic programs recognized in its admission process.
According to the University of Oxford website, among other criteria, "(The institution) would also expect Grade 5 in three or more Advanced Placement tests in appropriate subjects or SAT Subject Tests in three appropriate subjects at 700 or better."
In Sonia's senior year of high school, she took three AP Exams in Government and Politics: Comparative, Government and Politics: U.S, and English Language and Composition and received a score of 5 on all three exams. (AP Exams are scored on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being the highest score.)
While Sonia admits her current coursework is more challenging, she said her AP classwork helped smooth the transition from high school to university. "I didn't feel unprepared at all," she said. "All the writing I did in my AP classes really helped."
She also finds herself relying on the skills she gained from taking AP. "Even with my constitutional law class, I still apply the skills I learned in my 1Oth grade AP World History course. Also, learning about different political systems in AP Comparative Government and Politics helps with my current classes."
As for future plans, Sonia is considering a career in international law or human rights law. After she completes her undergraduate studies, she may continue postgraduate studies at Oxford or secure an internship at an NGO.